I’ve gotten a few messages that I need to explain what #AustinLife is. A few years back some of my friends starting using #AustinLife in our group text thread an inside joke.
It all started because I would text pictures of myself doing some pretty cool things like sitting on the front row of a concert or enjoying a professional sporting event from a luxury suite. Sometimes it would be me introducing myself to John Lewis or Andrew Young in an airport.
The guys would see it and shake their heads and text back #AustinLife. It seems like I was always finding myself in a crazy situation.
However, over the years it has morphed into a bit of a mantra for me and for the guys in my group thread. The assumption many people make is that my career is responsible for many of these cool situations and to be fair it hasn’t hurt, but finding myself in crazy situations happend long before my career.
When I was a kid my mom would always tell me to do whatever the adults told me unless it was immoral or illegal. When I became an adult I reinterpreted it for my life to mean: Try everything unless it is immoral or illegal. I lived by this code my whole life until my friends put those words to it.
Sometimes its as simple as trying sushi for the first time. Other times it is very difficult like when my friend Brian asked me to run my first half marathon.
Sometimes it ends in disaster like when I saw Scottie Pippen in an airport and walked over to say hello and he was not happy that I wandered over.
(Joke was on him because we ended up on the same flight and sat on the SAME ROW! AWKWARD!)
This isn’t a short cut to front row seats and luxury suites. A lot of that is a function of my work. However, I wouldn’t be in my job without #AustinLife. Back in 2012 when I started my first company and my client ended up introducing me to a whole new career path.
In my life I use the #AustinLife mantra to remind me to be fearless, put myself out there, see what happens. What’s the worst that could happen if you try camping for the first time or eat at that restaurant that you always mean to try?
Maybe it goes great and you have a new hobby with the family, maybe you get soaked and your food gets invaded by ants and you have to come home early?
Maybe the restaurant becomes your new favorite place or maybe you get food poisoning?
Who cares? It’s an experience, its something else to add to the list of things you’ve tried.
When I tried my first half Ironman, I was 10 minutes late finishing the swim part of the race. Swimming was my worst discipline and I wasn’t allowed to continue the race.
I was completely demoralized that I wouldn’t be able to complete the race. One of the race volunteers said something that encapsulates exactly what #AustinLife is all about:
“You may not be able to finish the race today, but you were here. There are millions and millions of people who will never even try to do this.”
So, go live your #AustinLife. Try everything, have fun, have disasters, LIVE YOUR LIFE!
If you need some extra motivation you can even buy this coffee mug to remind you every morning.